Meeting Minutes for:
Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Yuma International Airport, Conference Room
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 09:00 AM
Call to Order:
The Yuma County Airport Authority, Inc. (YCAA) Strategic Planning Committee Meeting of Directors was called to order at 9:00AM on January 19, 2023, in the Yuma International Airport Conference Room, 2191 E. 32nd Street, Suite 218, Yuma, Arizona 85365. The Presiding officer was Russ Jones, Chairman.
YCAA STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT WERE:
Russ Jones, Chairman & YCAA 2nd Vice President
Dean Hager, 1st Vice President
Jenny Torres, Director (left the meeting at 9:58AM)
Albert Gardner, Director
YCAA STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT WERE:
ALSO PRESENT WERE:
Stanley Gourley, Treasurer (joined the meeting telephonically)
Gladys D. Brown, CM, CAE, Airport Director
Gerald L Hinkle, Jr., CPA, Chief Financial Officer
Andrea Lopez, Executive Assistant
CALL TO THE PUBLIC
There were no Public Comments.
1) Strategic Planning Committee discussion and possible recommendation related to the YCAA’s effort to obtain Arizona Public Service electricity to Rolle Airfield Airport.
Ms. Brown, the Airport Director, reminded the Committee of the YCAA Board of Directors authorization of an “Off-Budget” Expenditure of up to $800,000 to bring electrical power to the Rolle Airfield Airport, at its December 13, 2022 regular meeting. Subsequent to that meeting, the Airport Director has received some questions by members of the Board of Directors and expressed her desire to obtain some clarification and direction on this approved action item.
Ms. Brown described some of the inquiries she had received and offered the Committee clarification on these items to include an emphasis on the YCAA’s expectation that there will not be any financial return on investment from bring electricity to Rolle Airfield Airport for a number of years and there is no guarantee of potential development as a direct result of this improvement.
Ms. Brown then explained to the Committee that the initial investigations into what it would take to bring electricity were a result of a possible development lead from GYEDC which prompted an initial feasibility. The feasibility study examined utilities in the area as well as other important aspects of the property near Rolle Airfield Airport.
Ms. Brown described how discovering that the cost to bring electrical power to Rolle Airfield was significantly less than it had been estimated in the past and described the impact of reliable electrical power to Rolle Airfield’s current tenant, and of course future development in general.
Ms. Brown described her intent to move forward with obtaining the utility easements necessary to bring electrical lines from the source to Rolle Airfield property but hold off on constructing the improvements until user demand or future development opportunities arise, certainly after the YCAA’s obtains a lease agreement directly with the BOR which is expected to culminate by the end of 2023.
2) Strategic Planning Committee discussion and possible recommendation related to development projects described in the Yuma International Airport and Rolle Airfield Airport Master Plans.
The Committee discussed a variety of projects outlined in the Yuma International Airport and Rolle Airfield Airport’s Master Plan for the purpose of evaluating the possibility of moving forward using an investment of capital reserves available.
During the discussion, the Airport Director described the possibility of investing in improvements to the aircraft storage hangar at Rolle Airfield Airport to support existing and future operations. The improvements discussed included adding an additional diesel generator and related electrical improvements to increase the energy production capacity as well as expanding the footprint of the hangar to accommodate office space and adding insulation and climate control.
The Committee expressed their support for the proposed upgrades to the aircraft storage hangar at Rolle Airfield Airport only if the existing tenant or another in the future would commit to establishing a based aircraft at the airport and commit to a lease term no less than five years.
Committee discussions related to the future of Rolle Airfield included insight into recent developments in the area, including the authorization to develop thousands of homes South of Cesar Chavez Blvd and completion of the industrial park operated by the Greater Yuma Port Authority near the US/Mexico Port of Entry. Mr. Jones stressed the importance that Rolle Airfield Airport be able to eventually expand its operational capability to include the addition of a 3/21 runway. Mr. Jones described how the County of Yuma’s intent to extend Avenue D to Cesar Chavez Blvd would permanently block this development and followed by informing how having only one runway reduces the airport’s operational capability on a seasonal basis due to winds. Ms. Torres informed the Committee of the County’s progress to extend Avenue D and indicated that the planned route has already undergone environmental review and is being slated for funding considerations. The Committee expressed their desire to follow these developments carefully and take the steps necessary to protect the ability for Rolle Airfield to continue to develop.
3) Strategic Planning Committee discussion and possible recommendation on the YCAA’s inability to obtain liability insurance related to skydive operations and the possible effect on the proposed lease extension for Skydive San Luis.
Ms. Brown, the Airport Director reminded the Committee of the recent authorization by the Board of Directors to enter into an extended term with Skydive San Luis, which was delayed until an effort to obtain liability insurance that would not exclude parachute operations had concluded. She followed by informing them that obtaining such coverage has been determined to be impossible, at any cost. Ms. Brown then described how the tenants’ own commercial liability insurance policy effectively contained a similar exclusion leaving both entities at risk in the event of a mishap.
Ms. Brown explained how staff had conducted a survey of other airports in Arizona that conduct skydive operations and relayed findings to date which indicate that other airports are also unable to obtain such coverage. A discussion ensued as to measures that could be taken to reduce exposure including adding provisions in the proposed agreement that would:
·Add a provision that requires the Lessee to obtain fully executed liability release/waivers from every customer, and language that would allow the YCAA to audit the operation to ensure compliance.
·Add a provision that makes the Lessee responsible for any and all costs incurred by the YCAA as a result of any mishap related litigation, including legal defense.
The Committee agreed that they would recommend the Board of Directors approve moving forward with extending the term an additional three years, as originally authorized, if the provisions listed above were included.
4) Strategic Planning Committee discussion on the current key strategies and business plan to accommodate future growth and the forming of partnerships at the Airport.
Ms. Brown, Airport Director, briefed the Committee on the following current YCAA Key Strategies:
1.Expand aviation related business (MCAS, general aviation, government, etc.), maintaining full service fixed base operators, and air freight business opportunities by partnering with existing businesses or attracting new businesses.
2.Stay abreast of community growth and needs by partnering and/or leading with our community for economic development.
3.Market the airport throughout the local and surrounding communities to promote air service, availability of aviation facilities, encourage general aviation, and capabilities for future expansion opportunities.
4.Promote the international aircraft clearance capabilities and partnership with cross promoting international flights with neighboring airports.
The Committee discussed the Key Strategies and agreed to move forward without modifications.
There being no further business before the Committee the meeting adjourned at 11:21AM.
|// Approved //|
2nd Vice President, Yuma County Airport Authority; Strategic Planning Committee Chairman
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